08.08.1869 (Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, France) - 02.01.1952 (Paris, France)
Louis Valtat started his artistic education at the age of 17, at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and finished his studies at the Académie Julian. There he was introduced to the work of Maurice Denis and other painters from the Les Nabis movement (the ‘prophets’). In 1890 Valtat purchased his own studio located at the Rue de la Glacière in Paris and the streets in this neighbourhood are depicted in most of the work he produced during this period. Initially Valtat worked in an impressionistic style, but later his interests shifted to the visual language of Les Nabis: expressive use of vibrant colour and powerful strokes of paint on canvas. In this respect Vincent van Gogh was a source of inspiration to Valtat as well. From 1885 onwards Valtat painted landscapes, flower still-lifes and coastal scenes in strong, bold and expressive colours, for which he is considered one of the forerunners of Fauvism. After the turn of the century, Valtat’s use of colour became more moderate and his work is characterised by a brighter and smoother appearance. After 1940 Valtat mainly painted flowers and experimented with shape and colour. He passed away in 1952 and in that same year the Salon d’Automne honoured his work with an impressive retrospective.